Showing posts from January, 2016

This Week In My Home...Migraine Version

This week in my home...

Ugh.  I woke with a headache this morning and the thing has stuck with me all day long.  It's a migraine but I don't have the horrid headaches that I used to have with them.  These days the migraine manifests with a very mild headache but a general feeling of malaise, tension in my shoulders and neck, a bit of nausea, a desire for intense quiet (so you know my husband has been super chatty today) and a hypersensitivity to aromas.  I nearly lost it over a bar of Zest soap.  This shall pass, I know and if it's not done with by bedtime I'll drop some lavender oil on a soft cloth and breathe in deep.

Nevertheless, a plan for the week ahead must be tended to and rightly so.  No one wants a free for all week in this house.  Our stores of meat are getting very low and I need to use all my thinking powers to stretch what I have until I can get time and money together to visit the meat market.  Groceries must be bought, bills paid, money saved.  February…

Assigning Value To Our Days Frugal Friday, End of January

A manicure done for me by Katie.  She used gel polish and an LED light to set the coats.  This is one hard wearing manicure.  I'm duly impressed by how well it has held up over the week.  

January 23:  We left home today to visit with Katie.  I knew her planned menu and carried along Parmesan cheese and bread for garlic bread and a peach cobbler I made with peaches I put up two summers ago (still perfectly good), as well as whipped topping from the freezer.  I loved pulling items off my pantry shelf and not having to stop to purchase.  Oh and I can't forget I brought along my own whole wheat pasta  for myself (John ended up eating that, too) to help keep my blood sugars fairly stable.

We stopped and picked up mail on our way out of the drive and I found I'd been chosen to receive a free Wanda Brunstetter book because I'd written her a quick note.  I was very pleased with my new free book!

The visit was lovely.  Katie offered to do my nails and I decided to go daring and…

In My Home This Week...

This week in my home...

Winter has finally arrived here in Georgia.  That means it's cooler, what we'd call cold, but some of you might snicker at our idea of cold.  It's winter because it rains far more often and seldom a week goes by without at least one full day of showers and sometimes more often.  The propane truck came Thursday with a delivery of gas and left black scars on the lawn.  No complaints.  This too is normal for soggy ground this time of year.   The weather men tell us there will be snow, a chance of snow, no snow, well maybe snow...  It is not weather conducive to getting outdoors and doing much. It is perfect weather to rummage through drawers and closets and cupboards and reading good books.  It is weather for hot cocoa and grilled cheese sandwich suppers and pots of popped corn for snack.  It is the right weather to snug into a cozy sweat shirt and pants and a stack of vintage magazines.  It is the right weather to read a big deep book from which you w…

Assigning Value To Our Days on Frugal Friday

Homemade biscuits...Yum.  I learned long ago to add whole wheat flour to my biscuit dough ( you can substitute up to half the flour as whole wheat but remember when you use whole wheat flour to slightly increase the liquid) back in our low carb days so that we can treat ourselves occasionally.  Glad I did, as it's nice for diabetic diet as well.  Sure were good this briskly cold morning with a spoonful of sausage gravy.

January 16:  Kept it simple today.  I couldn't completely prepare our dinner ahead yesterday but it took only minutes this midday to have it all ready.  I made calzone using some meatballs I found in my beef basket in the freezer, some leftover sauce from a spaghetti dinner a couple of weeks ago and variety of cheese from the fridge.  I priced ricotta yesterday ($3.99 for a 1 cup sized container) and cottage cheese (2.99 for a half pint, both at local store).  I opted to not buy those items and used what I had on hand as a substitute, a little dab of Neufchatel …

I Wonder As I Wander, Winter 2016

A fat yellow bud is dangling on one of the daffodils.  It is in a spot where by rights it should be the last to bloom as it's facing due north and is in a shaded spot.  But's getting ready to burst forth in joyfulness, not at all caring that it is far and ahead of the other daffodils who only this week sent up stems with gently swelling heads.  Watching it there in that spot, in that shaded, cold spot that rarely gets sun, makes me wonder why I have struggled so with blooming where I am.

My growing conditions are hardly difficult...well there are worries here and there but you know what I mean.  I have a decent home and have been blessed to make it as beautiful and lovely as I might with my limitations.  I have a loving husband and altogether a happy abiding place.  And I'll grant you I'm about 90 times happier where I am today but two years ago?  In this exact same place?  Grumble, grouse, weep and gnash teeth, complain complain complain...

What changed?  I …

Waste Not...Frugal Lessons

This photo from some time back but I've just heard on "The Kitchen" on FoodTV that you can freeze whole lemons, limes and oranges.  They said just to thaw in the fridge, or if you want to zest them, do so while frozen.  You can also microwave for about 15 seconds if you want to thaw quickly so that you can juice them.  And here I'd thought I'd had such a great idea freezing lemon juice in cubes and slices of lemons.  To be sure they took up a lot less room...And can you imagine getting bonked by a frozen orange that rolls out of the freezer?  ouch!

I really enjoy "The Kitchen".  I like the pace of the program which is a bit quicker than most food shows and I like the chattiness of it.  I also love the quick hints given here and there.  This week's program was called The Savings Show, so you know I had to tune in to hear that one.  I do look for new ways to save on an almost daily basis because honestly being frugal is my nature but it's also my h…

Retirement Remedies: Winter Wardrobe Options

It's time for a seasonal change and time I pieced together a few things for real winter weather just in case we actually have some.  Mind you, here in the deep South we don't get the negative readings friends further north get, nor do we very often find ourselves in snow, so my wardrobe is naturally a little lighter than some of you might wear but it's definitely 'bundle up' sort of wear for me.

I'll start with the camel wool coat Mama gave me which fits me just so.

It will be especially nice over these next two outfits I think:

The one above is meant for a dressier outfit.  I paired my own short sleeved sweater vest with along sleeved shirt Virginia gave me (more terracotta and less peach than the photo makes it appear) and a vintage crocodile handbag.  The pants are a plaid lined wool pant that Mama gave me as a pants suit.  The jacket does nothing at all for me, being both boxy and collarless and I've skipped it entirely. You can get a better idea of …

In My Home This Week: January 17-23

This week in my home...

I've just finished flipping through a magazine from January 1937.  Lots of advertisements for Canned Pineapple and lots of suggestions on how to use it.  One author suggested taking spears of pineapple (saw an advertisement so you could certainly buy them cut in that way) rolled in brown sugar and then tucked into pie crust and sealed well, then baked.  Or what about doing a twice baked Sweet Potato and adding crushed pineapple to the mashed filling?  They topped pork chops with pineapple and served it with ham. Pineapple rings placed in a pan and meatloaf packed in on top?  I think this one would be really good with a ham loaf!  Another dessert suggestion is to put ice cream between angel food cake slices (or a cut cupcake) and then top with crushed pineapple.  A Pineapple Egg Nog is suggested, too, using chilled pineapple juice mixed with a raw egg yolk then mixing in whipped meringue from the egg white. And last but not least, another entree idea, this t…

Assigning Value to our Days/Frugal Fridays

January 9:  I was surprised today as I cleaned out the vase/salt cellar on the shelf above the kitchen sink.  I was pulling out the dead flowers and one of the ones I pulled out was the hydrangea stem...which apparently has taken a notion to put out roots.  I put it right back in that vase and will let it continue to devlop.  Then I'm going to plant it!  A free plant from a former bouquet is a pretty good thing in my opinion.

We had a very nice dinner today of spaghetti and meat balls.  The ground turkey (a clearance item)and the spinach I used in the meatballs have both been lanquishing in the freezer for months and I'm happy to have used them up.  However, I couldn't help but note that the flavor of my sauce was 'off'.  I'd opted to leave out bell peppers and remedied that by pulling some from the freezer and adding in, but the other thing missing was elusive...I finally decided that it was the beef flavoring we're most accustomed to, since we typically u…

This Week In My Home...

...We are temporarily a one car household.  This bothers John far more than it does myself.  I have often felt of late that we might well be a one car family, now that John's job only has him gone 1, or at most 2, days per week.  It bothers my husband a great deal, however, to have me home alone without a way to 'go'.  Never mind that only perhaps twice a month do I ever bother to 'go' when he's at work.  For the most part, I am wonderfully content to be home and to focus my attentions hard upon household things when John is working.  It suits me best to have time alone to piddle about, tackle projects and deep cleaning if I so desire and sometimes simply sit and just listen to the quietness surrounding me.  This is not something my husband can fathom.

I expect we shall have the Honda back by end of the week but in the meantime, it will be fun to pretend I am back in Granny's homemaking days and one car households were the norm.

Coffee Chat: An Old Fashioned Girl

Hello there!  Come on in and let's have a nice chat.  There's a cheesecake in the fridge, made fresh this morning.  Now sit down...

So how is your New Year going?  I did very well on  the first Monday with work and had a productive if frustrating day on Tuesday.  Wednesday we slowed down to a light housework day and Thursday I was right back at busy and productive.  Friday, John insisted we had to leave home.  He made it worth my time.  After he got a hair cut we stopped in at Kroger where I intended to get my free loaf of bread and he bought me the first cup of Starbucks coffee I've had in months on end.  I do love Cinnamon Dolces this time of year.  I thought to ask for decaf but forgot to specify sugar free.  Oh well.  I counted that as my 'dessert' that day and enjoyed it.  And then he took me out to lunch at our favorite restaurant, a chain place, but this particular one is a little tucked away and cozy and small and the staff is familiar.  It's nice.


A Year of Savings: Giving Value to What We Do At Home in 2016

I've done these sort of posts in the past.  My last was in 2013 and I felt it got a bit tedious at times but the truth is, like housework, tedium often has purpose.  We keep washing dishes and sweeping floors and the end result is a clean and neat home (or at least it is mostof the time).  Keeping track of what I save by being home doing repetitious tasks, attempting to learn new skills and putting them into practice routinely if they work out, and even those once in awhile things that we happen to do that saves us money now and then...they all add up!  While not every single thing brings in a viable sum of money, these savings are the measure of our value in our homes. And so tedium may ensue at times but it's necessary to remind myself, and you, that it's not all for naught, we're not just wasting our time.  We are contributing to our household, truly contributing, just as the wage earner does!

This year I'll combine the savings posts with my usual thrifty posts…

Book Review: A Refuge At Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky

I've enjoyed this book.  It has been a great read.  It has all the components I love: romance, English countryside, history.

This book is the third in the Highland Hall series.  Fortunately, the author is skilled and the book is a great stand alone novel.  I never once felt the need to refer back to the other books in the series in order to understand the current novel.

This book centers around Penny, a young woman who has moved to London to help her sister and brother in law care for their orphaned foster children.  When England is threatened by the World War, Penny and her sister return to their childhood home, Highland Hall.

Penny keeps up a correspondence with a young pilot she'd met while in London. The story of their romance is interwoven in the day to day problems of a household in war time.

I enjoyed this book so much, I hope to read the earlier novels in the series and plan to seek out more of Turansky's books.

This book was courtesy of Blogging for Books.

January 3, 2016...This Week In My Home...

Welcome to the New Year!  I don't know about anyone else but I am certainly looking forward to a fresh start this year.  It does seem last year was awfully hard in so many ways for us all.  That's not to say that this year will necessarily be all roses and lavender, but you never know.  I do recall one year without any major upsets, hurts, heartaches or worries and I remember thinking, "This is one year I shall remember for a long time to come!"  I'd not mind another year such as that, you know?  But God is still in His heavens and I shall be strengthened by that knowledge.  No matter what comes, God will be faithful.

So I took a little time off over the holidays.  I'd love to say that I lounged about and did nothing but relax or then again that I got loads and loads accomplished.  Nope.  Just about the usual amount of both lounging and working.  Knowing that we'd be on the road on our natural Shabat on Boxing Day and getting out the door early and home …

Questions, Answers and Comments - December 2015

This month I'm just going to start at the beginning and work my way to the end, rather than group comments by category(post title) as I've done in the past.  It was a short month for posts anyway.  December 2, I posted a book review  The Mexican Slow Cooker.  I made comment that I didn't have multiple slow cookers.  Well I do have a small round 1 quart and I have a larger one.  Lana commented that she had several of various sizes and I know Rhonda and a few others do, too.  I don't cook for anyone much except John and I and so I have no need of multiple cookers.  I have yet to try one of these recipes but I mean to change that in the coming month.  I am looking for fresh inspiration in my menus!  Dawn reminded me that some people love kitchen appliances and don't shun them the way I do, lol.  I have in my possession a waffle iron, a meat slicer, an electric knife sharpener, a blender and an electric frying pan besides my two crock pots.  There's also a pressu…

In My Home: Holiday Savings

I was cleaning bookcases this week and found this little paper scrap tucked in behind some of the books.  It's a quote by Arthur Ashe that I tore from a magazine and I like it well enough to make it my theme quote this year.

"Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can."

                             My 'new look' using just what I have on hand and nothing more...

Saturday:  The coffee I bought yesterday was very strong.  I need to use less of it to make a pot than the Aldi brand.

We had bagels for breakfast.  I bought these on sale for $1, we'll get two meals off the package.

Worked on our 2016 budget sheet and set up the first quarter page.

I reheated the steaks John brought home from the EMS dinner.  They were very good and tender. The dogs enjoyed the bones, the cat enjoyed the trimmings.

Yesterday afternoon, I mixed up a yeast dough and put in the fridge.  I had only to pat it out on my pan and there was a pizza crust.  There's enough dough…